Author Archives: Paul Sloane

Discovery versus Innovation

Botanists, Television, and the iPad by Paul Sloane Liquid crystals were discovered in 1888 and are now used in most TVs and computers (including the iPad). Liquid crystals represent a state of matter which exists between solid and liquid states. They were first discovered in 1888 by Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer who was studying cholesterol at the Charles University in ...

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The Who What Why of Innovation

This problem analysis method examines an issue from twelve different viewpoints. It is based on the words of the poem by Rudyard Kipling: I keep six honest serving men, they taught me all I knew. Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who. We probe the topic using these questioning words from a positive ...

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Create a Culture of Successful Failure

Very often the best way to test an idea is not to analyze it but to try it. The organization that implements lots of ideas will most likely have many failures but the chances are, it will reap some mighty successes too. By trying numerous initiatives we improve our chances that one of them will be a star. As Tom ...

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Evaluating Ideas

Generating a large number of ideas is a key part of the creative thinking process. The more ideas you come up with the more likely you are to find something truly innovative. But having a long list of ideas creates an issue. How do you select the best ideas to carry through to implementation? Have you ever been in a ...

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Innovators Welcome Ambiguity

Brilliant thinkers and innovators are very comfortable with ambiguity – they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions. We see evidence of this in the tabloid press. There have been some terrible crimes committed in our cities. ...

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Who Killed Our Business?

Most business managers go through the annual ritual of budgeting. We plan the next one or two years based on the actual results of the most recent year. We draw up a spreadsheet and plan line by line – sales revenues up 10% and costs held to a 5% increase means a modest improvement in profits. We should have learned ...

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Creating Innovation Best Practices of Tomorrow

Directors constantly strive to increase efficiency, implement best practice and deliver increased shareholder value. They seek to improve cash flow through efficiencies of scale and cost reductions. But there are limits to cost saving. In a global economy your competitors in lower-cost countries can beat you at that game. The best way to create value is to innovate your way ...

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Leading Innovation with Passion

People will not follow an unenthusiastic leader. They will follow someone who has a vision and is passionate about it. Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela showed great passion for what they believed – it was what made them outstanding leaders. The sales training expert Robin Fielder says, “Never, ever forget that people are more persuaded by your ...

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Battlefield Innovation Lessons for Business Leaders

Let’s be clear, business is not war. But if you are operating in a fierce marketplace then it can feel like it. Many of the methods we use in our sales campaigns, marketing strategies and competitive tactics are based on military analogies. So what lessons can business leaders today learn from the history of warfare? Here are some that seem ...

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